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% of small businesses, but if we're serious about deficit reduction, we should make sure that the wealthier are paying a little bit more and combine that with spending cuts to reduce our deficit and put our economy on a long-term trajectory of growth. we have been talking to the republicans ever since the election was over. they have had trouble saying yes to a number of repeated offers. yesterday i had another meeting with the leadership, and i suggested to them if they can't do a comprehensive package of smart deficit reduction, let's, at minimum, make sure that people's taxes don't go up and that 2 million people don't lose their unemployment insurance. and i was modestly optimistic yesterday, but we don't yet see an agreement. and now the pressure's on congress to produce. if they don't, what i've said is that in the senate, we should go ahead and introduce legislation that would make sure middle-class taxes stay where they are, and there should be an up-or-down vote. everybody should have a right to vote on that. if republicans don't like it, they can vote no. but i actually think that
. but if we're serious about deficit reduction, we should make sure that the wealthier are paying a little bit more and combine that with spending cuts to reduce the deficit and put our economy on a long-term trajectory of growth. you know, we have been talking to the republicans ever since the election was over. they have had trouble saying yes to a number of repeated offers. yesterday i had another meeting with the leadership, and i suggested to them if they can't do a comprehensive package of smart deficit reduction, let's at minimum make sure that people's taxes don't go up and that 2 million people don't lose their unemployment insurance. and i was modestly optimistic yesterday. but we don't yet see an agreement, and now the pressure is on congress to produce. if they don't, what i've said is that in the senate, we should go ahead and introduce legislation that would make sure middle class taxes stay where they are, and there should be an up or down vote. everybody should have a right to vote on that. you know, if republicans don't like it, they can vote no. but i actually think that ther
with the deficit in the biggest way. but their only priority is making sure that tax breaks for the wealthiest americans are protected. at some point, i think what's important is that they listen to the american people. >> joining me now, congressman chris von holland of maryland. good evening. it is a good sign that chained cpi is off the table. the senate will be back tomorrow at 11:00. how high is your optimism or pessimism at this moment? >> well, it was a very bad sign when senator mcconnell put this social security change on the table, as part of a small deal, that was obviously something that could have totally thrown a monkey wrench into the process. so the fact that they backed off that is obviously good news. but as senator reid said, there are lots of obstacles still to go. and the fundamental issue remains what the president just said in that clip. both today and for the last year, the number one priority of republicans have been -- has been to use the middle class tax cuts as leverage to try and extract these super big tax breaks for very wealthy individuals, including now their f
enacted by congress to frighten itself into passing deficit reduction measures which means unless congress acts in the next 48 hours the bush tax cuts will expire along with federal unemployment insurance and a broad package of the spending cuts including defense spending will take effect. do weeks of fruitless negotiations and john boehner and senate leader are working on a deal this morning to avoid the fiscal cliff, or as chris hayes and i call it, the fiscal curve. the deadline is soft. it's not like every american is going to be handed a bill on january 1st and there's way to manage the damage if the country goes over. the senate is set to convene this afternoon with the house to follow tonight. there's a chance that a compromise will be reached, less than 48 hours before tax rates revert to their clinton dasher are levels and board across the board spending cuts talk effect. when the president took to the podium friday afternoon to urge the law enforcements to get their act together with he didn't exactly project confidence. >> this is deja vu all over again. america wonders why it i
than what people are getting -- >> on social security. that's nothing to did with the deficit. >> but the fact that all of these things need to believe in the grand bargain, sort to speak -- >> they do not. social security shouldn't even be on the table because it is nothing to do with the deficit. doesn't contribute to the deficit. and we're talking about the deficit. why should social security be discussed in that context? >> completely off the table? >> absolutely. absolutely. and that was the -- and that was our position during the campaign. social security has nothing to do with the deficit. does not contribute to it. walled off from it. its own trust fund with $2.7 trillion in it at the moment. and the american people by huge majorities say we shouldn't be cutting social security or for that matter medicare benefits. you can cut medicare in ways you don't cut benefits and the hypocrisy of republicans that said that democrats are terrible because they took $716 billion from medicare for obama care and what do we want to do? pocket the cuts and add more. our chief demand i
, is this the deal i would have preferred? no. but this compromise does make a serious down payment on the deficit reduction we need. most importantly, it will allow us to avoid default and end the crisis that washington imposed on the rest of america. it ensures also that we will not face this same kind of crisis again in six months or eight months or 12 months. and it will begin to lift the cloud of debt and the cloud of uncertainty that hangs over our economy. >> it's a real disappointment today. i'm sorry that the so-called super committee was not able to do its work because this makes it much more difficult to achieve the deficit reduction targets that must be done. what happens next is there will be $1.2 trillion reduction in spending through what's called sequester. >> under current law on january 1st, 2013, there's going to be a massive fiscal cliff of large spending cuts and tax increases. i hope that congress will look at that and figure out ways to achieve the same long-run fiscal improvement without having it all happen at one date. >> there's still significant distance between the two
go up as part of an overall deficit reduction. >> a health scare for hillary clinton. new details as the secretary of state undergoes treatment for a blood clot in a new york hospital. >>> ringing in the new year. from sydney to new york city. the world turns the page to 2013. good day. i'm chris live in washington in for andrea today. deal or no deal? as vice president joe biden and senate republican leader mitch mcconnell continue negotiations, we just have learned that president obama will speak about the fiscal cliff at 1:30 p.m. eastern time. with all that happening, let's get right to our daily fix. nbc's kelly o'donnell on capitol hill, nbc's kristen welker at the white house, and jonathan capehart, washington post editorial writer and my colleague and an msnbc contributor. okay, kelly. the action is on the hill where it's been for the last few days. let's start with you. this is a fast-moving story. give us the latest perimeters of what appears -- i emphasize appears to be the start of a deal. >> well, it has been coming closer together, so we are told. the question is wha
taxes. if the goal is to reduce the deficit, their goal of cutting taxes is not relevant to that goal so there's no overlap of potential agreement here. that's why there's no deal. >> let's take a listen to a very conservative retiring senator said, soon to be former senator joe lieberman, who is respected and seen as a deal maker. what we need right now is a deal. let's take a listen to something he just said. >> if we allow that to happen, it will be the most colossal, consequential act of congressional irresponsibility in a long time, maybe ever in american history. >> joy, i think what he's saying there and going over the cliff is not that this would be the worst thing congress has done on an objective scale, but the notion of doing something so bad for no reason is pretty frustrating, isn't it? >> i disagree with his characterization it would be the most irresponsible thing. i think messing around with not raising the debt ceiling and risking the default on the american debt was probably the most irresponsible thing we've seen this congress do, but the thing we need to remember, thi
, the thing we're trying to avoid, the actual danger to the economy, is that we will get too much deficit reduction too quickly. if reducing the deficit was what the economy needed we could go right off the cliff and leave it there. you can see it in this graph, that line going down. that is the fiscal cliff, we went over our deficit problems, gone baby, totally, totally gone. one thing the fear of the fiscal cliff shows by the way, in the fox hole, everyone's a kinsian. everyone agrees. that is number one. too much austerity way too quickly. president obama is not asking for that much in taxes. it's worth getting a bit of perspective in here. you'll be shocked to know, we got a graph for that. here's what happens if we go over the cliff. you get more than $5 trillion in tax increases off the bat. and now here's what happens if we pass the sainted simpson bowles plan. you've heard of the plan. they have 2.6 trillion in tax increases. president obama's latest offer to john boehner has 1.2 trillion in taxes. that is half as much, less than half than simpson bowles, and less than a quarter o
of representatives in the senate. they have to be taken into the -- >> did is it reduce the deficit, which is the whole point of this in the first place, right? >> about $1 billion maybe. >> republicans are essentially arguing against deficit reduction. they're looking for higher thresholds, which curtail deficit reduction. i want to ask you this, because isn't there a philosophical sort of win for the democrats anyway because this will be the first time republicans were enacting a tax increase, you know, since biggie and tupac were alive? septemb isn't that a win? >> yes, that is a win. i think that a lot of this could come down to this paired down democratic plan that could come up on the senate floor. if everything else goes out the window, it's the strictly $250,000 threshold, you know, extend unemployment insurance, and come up with a broader plan and punt everything else. >> does it get to the house? can that get through the house? >> right. >> the house people are telling me, house republicans are telling me, that if the margin in the senate is, like, 70-30, then clearly speaker boe
on the wealthiest americans should go up a little bit as part of an overall deficit reduction package. >> nbc's capitol hill correspondent kelly o'donnell is live on capitol hill. kelly o., i'm looking at the clock, we are now 14 hours and 58 minutes from going over the fiscal cliff. let's outline -- >> reporter: but who's counting, right, chris? >> yeah, who's counting? let's go over for people, what remains unresolved? it seems like two weeks ago they were pretty well set on the basic parameters of this thing, so let's talk about what's left to deal on? >> reporter: well, there are some significant differences, but there has been progress. i've been talking to sources who say that the vice president and mitch mcconnell stayed on the phone exchanging calls until around midnight last night and that staffers who are key to this process continue talking after that. as you know, there are very few people in the room, so to speak, who really have their fingerprints on whatever deal may eventually come and what has been passed between the two sides so far. about six proposals back and forth, and i
years of the obama administration, on the budget, on deficit, on tax cuts years ago. they came together before christmas. it's hard to see how this works out at this point, to tell you the truth. there is a conference call at 2:30 among house republicans trying to decide what to do. we expect the leadership to let the rank and file know what their plans are. the speaker is not in washington. we understand he is in ohio of his home state. the president has landed here back at the white house in washington. it's unclear exactly where they go from here. essentially what john boehner is saying, you go first, harry reid. harry reid is trying to jam mitch mcconnell into allowing this vote to go forward without the 60-vote threshold, something that's necessary for virtually every vote here in the senate and mitch mcconnell says it's time for president obama to lead. the threshold question is, can something pass the house of representatives? can john boehner put something on the floor that needs the majority of democrat support that will not get republican support and none to speak of that woul
't seen the deficit reduction that we could have had, the republicans willing to take a deal that i give them. if they say that people's taxes have gone up, which means consumer spending is depressed, then it's going to have an adverse reaction in the markets. >> there was much more to what the president had to say. listen to what he had to say on deficits and spending. >> you are not only going to cut your way to prosperity. one of the fallacies, i think, that has been promoted is this notion that deficit reduction is only a matter of cutting programs that are really important to seniors, students and so forth. that has to be part of the mix. but, what i ran on and what the american people elected me to do is put forward a balances approached. >> i want you to listen to something else. the president spoke about the tragedy in newtown, connecticut. he described it in a way he's not quite done so publicly before. listen to this. >> this is something that, you know, that was the worst day of my presidency. it's not something that i want to see repeated. >> it hit close to home? >> absolute
they would like to see something that addresses the long-term deficit. whether that can happen in this deal seems to be the problem. democrats have said if they can get something bigger they would be open to changes in entitlements. that is where things stand. there is clearly even handed on both sides saying they want to get things done. you know the clock is running and those signs make everyone think this may not resolve itself tonight. >> thank you very much. >>> let's go to the white house and kristen welker. hi there. >> reporter: hi, there. the white house is not commenting on these developments. senior administration officials say the action is going on on the hill right now. they are hesitant to weigh in. they don't want to disrupt any progress or setbacks that may be in the process of being resolved. so that is what the white house is saying publicly. i can tell you that behind the scenes it is a very busy day here at the white house. staffers have been on the phone with their counter parts on the hill. president obama also on the phone as you heard report he has spoken a number o
that taxes on the wealthiest americans should go up a little bit as part of an overall deficit reduction package. the offers that i've made to them have been so fair that a lot of democrats are getting mad at me. i mean, i offered to make some significant changes to our entitlement programs in order to reduce the deficit. they say that their biggest priority is making sure that we deal with the deficit in a serious way, but the way they're behaving is that their only priority is making sure that tax breaks for the wealthiest americans are protected. >> fiscal cliff negotiations are now down to the wire with a midnight deadline just hours away. that's tonight, new year's eve. at stake, the prospect of sweeping tax hikes and across-the-board spending cuts if a deal is not reached. and all indications are it's not looking good. here's the latest. the senate is scheduled to reconvene at 11:00 this morning. any deal today would have to be rushed through both chambers of congress before midnight. as talks in the senate stalled yesterday, minority leader mitch mcconnell reached out to someone h
that the entire burden of deficit reduction doesn't fall on seniors who are relying on medicare. there is a basic fairness that is at stake in this whole thing. >> reporter: republicans say to be fair the president must focus on entitlement reform to reduce the deficit. >> are you prepared to do that in your first year of the second term? >> what i said is i'm prepared to do everything i can to make sure medicare and social security are there not just for this generation but for future generations. >> reporter: the president said despite the current gridlock he remains optimistic but asserted democracy is messi. >> one way or another we'll get through this. do i wish that things were more orderly in washington? and ration enamel? and people listened to the best arguments and compromised and operate in a more thoughtful and organized fashion? absolutely. when you look at history that's the exception rather than the norm. >> now here is your "first look" at politics. long lines in florida discouraged 49,000 people in voting. on "meet the press" tom brokaw says there's a simple explanation for what'
." christmas should be a day of joy and celebration and recent tragic events gave this year's holiday a deficit feeling. >> reporter: in newtown, connecticut, it was a day of lingering heartache. empty stockings hung as reminders of loss filled with gifts. first responders from surrounding communities gave their time so surrounding police could spend the time with their families. >> this is why we're here. something needs to be done. glad we can be here. >> a pleasure to help them out. >> police officers giving police officers time off, you couldn't ask for a better christmas gift. >> reporter: in the new york airy, where hundreds are still without homes because of hurricane sandy, volunteers tried to deliver some holiday spirit. >> every table is labelled. >> reporter: handing out food, toys and blankets at relief centers. >> it's important people come out and help people. you can't put a price on that or buy that either. >> reporter: in places spared direct tragedy americans marked the day in their own ways while keeping those less fortunate in their thoughts. >> when people are suffering and
. and really, is not interested in a balanced approach to deficit reduction. it's been pretty clear that that's the story we have been telling and it happens to be the truth. >> i understand that two of colleagues proposed cuts to medicare for a hike in the debt ceiling. what do you make of that offer? >> i think one of the things that people don't realize is that it's a dirty little secret. the republicans don't want to cut the things that americans want cut. and they want to cut things that americans don't want cut. poll after poll shown americans do not want deficit reduction done by cutting medicare and medicare and social security. so they propose and saw the same scenario when paul ryan put the budget out and because the american people rejected the kind of draconian cuts that the republicans want to make so, you know, that's a nonstarter in the senate. i think it's a nonstarter with the president. sure can pass the house but going nowhere past that. >> the smaller offer we hear that the president is making at 3:00, to congressional leadership, what kind of offer would you like to see t
. the real cliff will come if we fail to deal with our debt and deficit. we just can't do that. >> that -- >> i don't like the content of the sequester. i do think it inordinately hits defense but that is something we can negotiate once we get into the new year. but to turn off those cuts would be just a frank admission we can't cut spending ever. i think the markets will respond very negatively to that and as well they should. >> you've also said republicans are resigned to seeing some sort of income tax hike. i wonder what is acceptable to you. we've heard 400,000, we've heard 450,000. is there a point at which it's a point of no return for you? >> well, my preference is to leave the rates where they are for everyone. we know that is not going to be the case. the president wouldn't sign such a bill. the democrats in the senate wouldn't pass it. so my goal is to pro-fekt tect y taxpayers as possible from higher tax rates. i don't know where that will be but the truth is that at midnight tonight taxes on everybody go up automatically, so i'll take a deal that can protect lower
sources are telling me, so they can do some real sort of comprehensive deficit reduction tax reform within a year. they're hoping that their chances will improve with the new congress and with a little bit more time. so that is where things stand right now at the white house. certainly they are hoping that there is a vote in the senate, but as you point out, chris, that is not a guarantee. >> hold on, kristin welker. let me go back to mike viqueira. is there sort of a conventional wisdom at this point when we could see a vote? >> reporter: you know, i'm going to hesitate to get into that. i have got to get out of the prognostication business here, chris, because so much of this is up in the air. i think you'll be heartened to learn that house republican leadership aides watch msnbc and i just received an e-mail emphasizing that there's nothing for the house to vote on. they're sort of sore about this idea that they are the ones sort of taking us over the cliff by not voting tonight. they say that their whip notice said as announced in previous updates, we expect previous votes to be the la
bargain. whatever you want to call it. that solves our deficit problems in a balanced and responsible way. with this congress, that was obviously a little bit too much to hope for at this time. it may be we can do it in stages. >> there are a number of issues on which the two sides are still apart but negotiations are continuing as i speak. but we really are running out of time. >> the vice president and i have worked together on solutions before and i believe we can again. >> no holiday for the best political team around. a triple threat, luke russert and mike viqueira on the capitol hill and kristen welker from the white house. are you happy to be working on the holiday? >> it's fantastic. >> absolutely. >> sounded believable. viq, let's start with you. we have news trickling out today. working, trying to make a deal. what's going on? >> it's washington, d.c. nothing is as it appears. we6 classic kabuki theater going on here, toree. the president, jovial, said they were close to a deal. that joe biden, the negotiations with mitch mcconnell essentially borne fruit. republicans annoyed wi
congress is on pluto and we're all on earth. they say they want deficit reduction. if you go over the cliff, you get deficit reduction, you just don't get it in the responsible, accountable way. it's like chopping off on arm. >> like says i want a shower, i'm going to niagra falls. >> they still can't get it done. we're dysfunctional. no other explanation. >> i think they can stop the roller coaster and make it go. they're doing a dance now because republicans don't want to do something to rates. obama wants to play hardball. but i think they'll have a different argument later in the year. >> i guess both believe it's better to go over the falls than cut a deal that's going to hurt them at home. tea party people don't respond to boehner or to cantor or mccarthy or any of them. somebody in the next tea party is going to be yelling from the back, you sold us out. i think that's why the tea party is never going to be functional. they don't really respond to getting things done. they respond to anger back home. >> i think 2014 democrats are also aware of these tax increases. they don't want to
and deficit reduction. that fell apart and talks have largely been stalled this entire time. there was a lost pressure to get something done. we have seen some of the impacts of the fiscal cliff. consumers saying they have been more cautious with their holiday spending because of the uncertainty in washington. economists warn it could get worse and the markets could be foiled if we go over the fiscal cliff. taxes will go up for the average american by about $2,000 and could put us back into a recession. >> which nobody wants to see. kristen welker in hawaii. the president is coming back, but they haven't gotten the 48 hour notice. they are very much out there in play. thank you very much for joining us. appreciate it. when the senate returns tomorrow morning, there will be a new emphasis on members taking a larger role in the fiscal cliff negotiations that based off the current offer may only have a smaller deal. a member of the budget committee and outspoken voice on the left side of the aisle. thanks for joining me. good morning. >> mire pleasure. >> we were saying a lack of urgency in wash
at the deficit of this year and looking at deficit of that size as far as the eye can see and not how to put together a minor package as chuck was talking about. this is the larger deal. the problem you have, obviously, not much time so i think you're likely to see a two-step process here. dealing with the immediate dynamics to, in fact, set up a situation to deal with the larger situation. but ultimately, here, the other element to occur is this is a real negotiating process. i have to say i was disappointed in the president when he used this line, when the speaker said to him, hey, i'm giving you $800 billion. what do i zbhet the president's response was nothing. the white house has to come up with -- >> the response of the white house is times is different. 2011 is 2011. doesn't speaker boehner get less out of a smaller deal? >> no, no. i think he wants a larger deal and going back to august of 2011, they were -- they got very close to the large deal. richard, pushing back in terms of a little bit in terms, look, this is a negotiating process. one side can't say you get nothing after you
hope they never come to a deal because this is the best deficit reduction package the democrats are ever going to get. but let's look at what really is going to happen here. i would be more surprised if they came to a deal in the next five days than i was by the roberts vote on obama care. there's no way these guys are going to come to a deal, and the reason is this. the president has got the upper hand, and his most important partner is the weakest person in this, which is john boehner. john boehner is on the verge of losing credibility with his caucus. he can't take a deal to his caucus that will pass without the help of nancy pelosi, which will pull the entire deal to the left. so what they have to do is they have to go over the cliff. we're just talking about politics, we're not talking about finances here. they have to go over the cliff. that strengthens boehner's hands because now everybody is paying a hell of a lot more taxes and people are blaming the republicans, and now boehner can go to the caucus and maybe get 200 and a few votes and then with nancy pelosi pick off a
, to pay for more government spending that doesn't help us with the deficit. and you hear members of congress, your republican colleagues who say, in my district, they don't want more spending. and that's how they see this money being spent. >> two things i would say. first of all, that is not the democratic position. no one that i know of is arguing that all of the increased revenue should go for increased spending nap simply isn't the case. by the way not having the sequester doesn't mean increased spending. it mean not having spending cuts. i voted against the idea of a sequester. i think it's not right way to do it. what the republicans want to do is spend more on defense. let me deal with this notion that republicans for cutting spending. you heard mitt romney criticize president obama because he's not spending enough on ships, which we don't need, and not staying long enough in the war zones. the republicans' view of spending is very particular one. secondly, as far as the american people are concerned, people in their districts, gee, if they represent districts in new jerse
. it ought to be about reducing the deficit and the debt, and what they are essentially suggesting is we want new taxes. we want higher taxes on people in this country to pay for new spending. >> so what happens next? with us nbc news capitol hill correspondent mike vic rah and nbc news white house correspondent kristen welker. mike, let's get started with you. what's happening right now in the senate. i understand there's an update on the chained cpi. >> reporter: they say the darkest hour right before the dawn, melissa. everybody ought to hope that's true, at least if you don't want to see your taxes go up on midnight on monday and tuesday night because everything seems to be at a standstill right now. let's review the bidding. here it is from a republican source here on the republican side of capitol hill. all day yesterday they were trading proposals back and forth. by his count two democratic offers came back to republicans and four came back from republicans to democrats. the last one being at 7:00 last night, and, boom, after that, things pretty much came to a standsti standstill. no o
illustrated with a few choice words today. >> if republicans think that i will finish the job of deficit reduction through spending cuts alone, and you hear that sometimes coming from them, sort of after today we're just going to try to shove only spending cuts down -- well, shove spending -- [ laughter ] shove spending cuts at us. if they think that's the formula for how we're going to solve this thing, then they've got another thing coming. >> i wanted to bring in democratic congressman john larson of connecticut with us from capitol hill. thanks for coming in. >> happy to be here. >> i want to talk spending in a moment but, first, what's your reaction to the parameters of a tax deal, a hike on incomes more than $400,000 for individuals, $450,000 for couples. your tlauts houghts on what we o far. >> we really don't know that much. we haven't seen anything in the house of representatives. i just heard luke russert say, you know, the ink isn't dry on any agreement yet. so while we're hopeful that there is an agreement that can be reached and have been prodding our colleagues to do so, th
this is not a perfect deal. he said he wanted a big deal that dealt with both tax reform and deficit reduction. you also heard him talk about the fact that the new revenues would be hundreds of billions of dollars. what he initially wanted was about $1.6 trillion so this is a compromise on his part, as well. republicans initially coming, raising their offer so they kind of came to the middle on that point. but, again, the one sticking point that remains, the sequester and what negotiators continue to hammer out. vice president biden playing a key role in the negotiations having served more than 30 years in the senate. he knows how these types of negotiations get done. really, better than anyone. he, mitch mcconnell with whom he has a strong relationship, trying to take it to the finish line. >> i guess that's something given how many sticking points we were up against before. thank you so much. >> reporter: thanks. >> any deal from the 11th hour talks will be rushed through both chambers of congress. mike viqueira at capitol hill for us. is that possible at this point? >> reporter: it's possible. whethe
much deficit reduction too fast. so all of this takes place against a debate about how to reduce the budget deficit. that's why you get into this theater of the absurd. >> well, and look at the tape you showed at the opening of the program with keith boykin over and over again showing the dysfunction of congress. they made this so onerous with the belief it would make them do something less onerous and now they're right up against it. >> they really know how to make these crises happen. political correspondent and writer, john howard, thank you very much for joining me and former labor secretary robert reich, thank you for joining me tonight. >>> coming up, the nra has done much more damage than you think. and they've made gun ownership much harder to trace. >>> and the romneys keep trying new explanations for why mitt lost. but they aren't getting any closer to the truth. and as some of you on twitter already know, i am wearing a christmas gift or two on the show tonight. there is still time to tweet your guesses about what it is. the answer to what christmas gift or gifts am i
's the longer term federal deficit and then the shorter term impact on the economy. we'll have that first, right? the markets will go down and economic confidence will continue to slide. money will be taken out of the economy. so there's an economic impact right now. why should they deal with this crisis when the bigger crisis they couldn't come together tlen. sorry starbucks. they didn't come together before either. what do you do about deficits? the truth is doing nothing at this point is the best impact they can have on deficits, because taxes will go up, spending will go down. that's the point of this deal. so to come to your point, yeah, i guess they could suddenly hug each other and do had this dance, but the reality is there are a lot of people who think, what we are dealing with is deficits because the budget looks better and we'll deal with the economy some other way. >> doing nothing is what they do best. mike, before we let you go, ed mackey malden running for the united states senate in massachusetts. >> he's never run statewide. do you agree with this? i think scott brown is smiling
. that plan would have dealt with tax reform and deficit reduction and this will be a much more scaled back version that will deal with the issue of taxes and that is still the big sticking point, taxes. of course, democrats and president obama have called for tax rates to increase on those making $250,000 or less. republicans have said that's way too low. so they're thinking about potentially compromising on a rate that would be $400,000 or $500,000, but some republicans are saying they don't think that the tax rate should go up on anyone. so taxes still the major sticking point. right now the negotiations are going on the hill and there's a lot of optimism that came from the talks yesterday. of course, president obama hosted congressional leaders at the white house and they left that meeting and many said that it was constructive and they were optimistic that a deal could get done and i've been talking to my sources today and that same optimism isn't really present right now. there's more skepticism about a deal getting done and it is still very early in this process and this is a fluid s
important to step back and see the fact that we have already -- there are three parts of this deficit reduction stool. we've already in the past two years passed $1.6 trillion in spending cuts. we've passed over $700 billion in savings in medicare through reforms like cutting back on overpayments to insurance companies. the one piece of this puzzle that we've not been able to get any support for is making sure that the wealthiest among us help solve this problem by being willing to pay a little bit more to be part of the solution. so we have sent a bill to the house back in july, bipartisan bill that says what -- everybody says they don't want middle-class families to have their taxes go up, well, fine. why don't we start with something we can agree on, which is that? and just pass that. why doesn't the house just pass that? but as we know, the speaker couldn't even pass his own plan to say that up to a million dollars was exempt from tax cuts. so what they're doing is holding middle-class families hostage right now, trying to find some maneuver where the wealthiest people continue to
, we are still looking at trillion dollar deficits every year. and the reality is that the house has already sent would measures on to the senate. one addressed the continuing bush era tax rates and the other that would erase the military spending. those are in the hands of the senate. they can act on those right now. we can put this thing to rest. we will wait and see what happens in this meeting and hopefully we will come to some kind of agreement to avoid this cliff. >> what do you think the best thing to come out of this meeting? >> i think that speaker boehner and the president walk out and be able to announce they have a team in next three days that will have an outline in which -- alice just mentioned the details will be hammered out in the first would weeks in january. we have that amount of time to stop the fiscal cliff. if we go over the fiscal cliff $700 billion of spending will be taken out of our economy. we have to change the scale of that fiscal cliff to a slight gradual bunny slope. so that our economy won't be zero next year. that is in a recession which will occur i
's anti-fragile. you need also to have less deficit on the part of government and transfer it to the states. more decentralized decision making. why? because if you do you have decentralized errors. not one error dragging you down and last decade two errors in the down. iraq war. you know? it was a horror from human side. but it cost between 40 and 120 times the original estimates. you don't want mistake that is are very large. a fragile system is one in which mistakes are costly and the benefits are small and anti-fragile system is one in which mistakes are small and bring long-term benefits. we want to be in that environment and environment that ben filths of mistakes. >> i hear what you're saying. shifting the debt burden from the federal government and states and federal government is a better position to carry debt. states have these constitutional balance budget amendments and bail out the states, isn't it? >> this is exactly the problem we have is that the government finds it easy to borrow and runaway deficit. let me explain the big thing. a project in the uk where
changes to our entitlement programs in order to reduce the deficit. >> all right. we're just listening to a democrat, tom harkin, criticizing the deal so far. the question -- we're speaking specifically of the concessions, perhaps the $450,000 offer we're aware of coming from vice president biden. are the president and democrats caving too much? tom harkin is expressing that frustration. >> well, i think we're all frustrated about that. i think the american people, 60% to 70% of the american people believe the president was correct in setting the limits at 250 and 200,000 for individuals as the cap on making sure that those taxes didn't go up for those americans making less than that. 70% of americans think that's about right. they voted in the presidential election and re-elected a president who said that was his criteria. but the president understands this is a process where compromise is necessary. the house of representatives, controlled by the republicans, clearly has indicated that a million dollars was not acceptable to it in the united states senate. clearly, mitch mcconnell co
the ground work for future progress on more economic growth and deficit reduction. >> republicans say they want a deal as well, but they highlighted their biggest sticking points today in their weekly address. listen now to missouri senator roy blount. >> senate democrats have spent months drawing partisan lines in the sand. the president's proposal to raise tax on the top 2% of americans won't even pay one-third of the annual interest that's now owed on this massive $16 trillion debt. in fact, the president's tax hike would only fund the government for eight days. >> the senate is set to reconvene sunday at 1:00 eastern time. the house expected to be in session sunday. are going to start around 2:00 with the first votes coming around 6:30 p.m. let's head on over to the white house. kristen welker standing by. a lot happening in washington, d.c. a lot happening i would assume at the white house. but how engaged is the presidented to in moving this thing forward? >> reporter: good afternoon, t.j. i am told there are conversations going on at the staff level. as you know, he met with co
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